Did You Ever Notice That Peri Gilpin Appeared on ‘Cheers’ Before Scoring Her Role on ‘Frasier’?

Peri Gilpin is best known for portraying Roz Doyle on Frasier from 1993 until the show’s final episode in 2004. For 11 years, she provided comic relief and a little bit of tension for Kelsey Grammer’s famed character, Dr. Frasier Crane. Gilpin existed in the Frasier universe before the show aired, though. She appeared in Cheers just a few months before she landed her career-defining role. 

Roz’s backstory doesn’t explain Gilpin’s appearance on Cheers

As a spinoff of Cheers, Frasier was bound to have some plot holes. The writers went out of their way to explain inconsistencies away when necessary. They, however, didn’t bother to try to explain why Gilpin appeared on Cheers as an entirely different character. Nothing in Roz’s backstory would explain the discrepancy, likely because her role on Cheers was incredibly brief.

Peri Gilpin as Roz Doyle and Kelsey Grammer as Dr. Frasier Crane in 'Frasier'
Peri Gilpin as Roz Doyle and Kelsey Grammer as Dr. Frasier Crane | NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

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In Frasier, Roz was a veteran radio producer when Frasier moved to Seattle to start a new life. It was later revealed that Roz was not supposed to be Frasier’s producer initially, but a different producer bailed on the project. Initially, they only had a professional relationship, but the pair eventually develop a close friendship, and Roz becomes friendly with the Cranes.

Who did Peri Gilpin play in Cheers?

Gilpin appeared in a single episode of Cheers as Holly Matheson, a journalist. In the episode, Frasier and Sam Malone make a bet about whether Frasier could get Woody Boyd elected to the city council. Woody’s unexpected election led to media coverage, and that is where Gilpin’s character came into play. 

Kelsey Grammer (center) and David Hyde Pierce (R) are joined by fellow 'Frasier' cast members actors Jane Leeves, Peri Gilpin, John Mahoney and James Burrows attend the Emmy Awards in 1998
The cast of ‘Frasier’ | Bob Riha, Jr./Getty Images

The episode, “Woody Gets an Election”, was the 21st episode of the show’s eleventh season, according to Fandom. The episode also revealed Woody and Kelly’s first pregnancy, although she does not give birth before the end of the series. Cheers ended its epic run after 11 seasons on May 20, 1993. Frasier premiered just a few months later on September 16, 1993. 

Peri Gilpin almost didn’t get to play Roz

While Gilpin eventually scored the role of Roz, she almost lost the part entirely. Instead of Gilpin, Roz was almost portrayed by Lisa Kudrow. As the story goes, casting for Roz was a rather involved process. The team behind the show had interviewed a variety of actors, including newcomers and seasoned veterans. According to Vanity Fair, it came down to Gilpin and Kudrow, both of whom were new to Hollywood. 

Peri Gilpin in 'Frasier' as Roz Doyle
Peri Gilpin as Roz Doyle | NBCU Photo Bank

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Kudrow was originally given the part of Roz, but it became clear she couldn’t provide pushback for Grammer’s character. Kudrow was fired before the pilot was made, and Gilpin was brought back in. She appeared in 263 episodes of the show, starting with the pilot. Kudrow landed the iconic role of Phoebe Buffay on Friends the following years.